“What happens in the House chamber stays in the House chamber,” Senator Barbara Boxer joked in an interview with Lawrence The California Democrat and her date for the State of the Union, Florida Republican Congressman John Mica, recapped their evening and how mixed seating between parties changed the mood.
“I've been in that chamber for five different presidents. And every one of those speeches is so fascinating and most of the time very inspiring,” said Boxer. “I don't know whether John felt it, but I felt in the audience, those of us who were sitting in a different configuration — I think it was less of a kind of a cheering squad for the president or a booing squad, if you will.”
While hoopla surrounding the affair resembled more of a high school prom, Boxer said the event actually felt “grown up.”
Mica said, “it was a good evening and bipartisan. Now a little bit somber because of the events with our colleague [Giffords]. But we all — I think everybody wants to do better and get people working and that’s the main focus of his address.”
It’s still unclear who asked who the SOTU. The way Boxer tells the story, Mica mentioned it as joke to one of his staffers because they’re working on a highway bill together. Then, Boxer took it upon herself to do all the asking.
Though Mica made sure to add, “I was grateful for the invitation.”